organizer Dan Bookham outlines what to expect

Maine 200: Celebrating Maine’s Bicentennial (+1) on Rockland’s Working Waterfront

ROCKLAND — On Friday, July 2, 2021 Rockland will celebrate Maine's belated bicentennial with a party on the harbor designed to highlight the role played by the marine trades and mariners in the story of the Pine Tree State. All events are free of charge and suitable for all ages.  
 
The events on hand are a slimmed down version of the original day-long festival planned for July 2020 and will consist of the Rockland and Camden home-ported boats of the Maine Windjammer Association sailing to Rockland the afternoon of July 2, then tying up on the city docks; a recognition ceremony of the bicentennial, the windjammers, and the 150th birthdays of the vessels Stephen Taber and the Lewis R. French, followed by the Blaine House Series concert featuring local singer-songwriter Bella Barnes, Schooner Fare, and the Dave Mallett Band on the Fisherman's Memorial Stage, from 7 - 9:30 p.m.; and then fireworks in the harbor at 9:30 p.m. 
 
Both the Maine Legislature and the City of Rockland will also be marking the event with proclamations and recognition of the role of the marine trades in both the history and future of Maine. The celebrations are made possible by presenting sponsor Bangor Savings Bank, with additional support from The Blaine House Concert Series, Allen Insurance & Financial, and the Maine Bicentennial Commission. In-kind support is being provided by Rockland Main Street Inc., The Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Rockland.
 
Concert attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs and enjoy an evening of al fresco music capped off with celebratory fireworks. There will be no charge or ticketing for admission but organizers will be monitoring numbers and encouraging attendees to spread out to allow for social distancing.
 
In terms of public health and safety, the organizers are emphasizing the continued importance of hand washing or sanitizing, social distancing, and mask wearing if one is either unvaccinated or more comfortable wearing a face covering. In order to help the windjammers comply with Coast Guard regulations and to protect the privacy of their passengers, the boats will not be open for public tours but can be enjoyed both on the bay and from Harbor Park. The organizers will continue to monitor local and statewide data on COVID-19 rates: should adjustments or changes become necessary there will be updates on the Rockland Main Street Inc. website, on social media, and in the local press. Maintaining health and safety are paramount and organizers have put a lot of thought and work into creating a safe event for the community.
 
Speaking for the ad-hoc organizing group, committee member Dan Bookham stated in a news release: "Although we had hoped to mark Maine's 200th birthday on the Rockland waterfront last summer, the celebrations will be all the sweeter after the trials and tribulations of the past year. We'll be honoring our state, the windjammers as the personification of our marine heritage, and the fact that both the Lewis R. French and Stephen Taber in their 150th years can lay claim to be the oldest working merchant ships in the United States. Equally as important, we can also come together to recognize the strength and resilience that continues to be shown by our part of the Midcoast in the face of the pandemic with a harbor full of beautiful ships and incredible music with a coda provided by a beautiful fusilade of fireworks!"
 
The Rockland Maritime Bicentennial Celebration is being organized by an ad-hoc  team comprising volunteers from the Pen Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, Rockland Main Street, Inc., the windjammer fleet, The Sail, Power, & Steam Museum, the City of Rockland, Allen Insurance & Financial, and local residents.

Event Date: 

Fri, 07/02/2021 - 7:00pm

Event Location: 

Rockland Public Landing

Address: 

Rockland Harbor Park
Rockland  Maine
United States